Micro-fulfillment centres have changed the game when it comes to quick-commerce and logistics in recent years. These small-scale storage facilities have become an essential way for businesses to get closer to their customers and reduce the costs and complexities of last-mile delivery. So why exactly are they so important, and what role do light electric vehicles, like e-bikes, have in their success?
Unlike traditional warehouses, micro-fulfillment centres (MFCs) are small, intelligent stores that businesses use to rapidly conduct last-mile deliveries. They are usually situated in and around city centres, which is crucial for businesses wanting to be closer to their customer base as urban populations grow. Gone are the days where urban deliveries are completed from large warehouses out of town, MFCs substantially reduce the time and distance between a product being ordered and the final delivery.
Customers today are Amazon-natives, and expect quick, high-quality deliveries to their doors. Micro-fulfillment centres are essential for businesses wanting to meet these demands, with their geographical position at the heart of this.
There are also other ways that MFCs facilitate rapid delivery. For example, these centres use intelligent software solutions to enhance and speed up the process of orders, such as smart picking and packing technology. Not only does this improve efficiency, it also eliminates unnecessary human labour, slashing the costs for businesses.
MFCs can also be easily scaled, with their size, design, and lack of human labour needed meaning more can be squeezed into urban areas for less money.
As ground-breaking as micro-fulfillments are, they cannot work by themselves, and need quick, nimble, and intelligent vehicles if they are to function at their full potential. This is where the electric bike comes in.
The size of e-bikes means more of them can be stored in MFCs compared to the likes of cars, vans, or even mopeds. Given the limited area inside MFCs and how every bit of space counts in urban areas, e-bikes open up more space to house essential stock keeping units, or SKUs.
E-bikes are the quickest and most efficient delivery vehicle across urban areas, and allow businesses to get from MFCs to customers as quickly as possible. Dedicated bike lanes allow electric bikes to skip past traffic jams and reduce congestion on our roads, with e-bikes also able to travel paths and routes that motor vehicles cannot. Zoomo research found that delivery riders can complete 30% more journeys a day on e-bikes than other vehicles, proving just how essential they are for businesses wanting to improve their last-mile rapid delivery segment.
E-bikes today are also extremely advanced when it comes to technology. Zoomo e-bikes, for example, incorporate intelligent software solutions on top of the physical hardware. Businesses are increasingly using last-mile solutions within MFCs to improve the speed and efficiency of deliveries, with a fleet of tech-driven e-bikes the perfect partner to ensure deliveries out of MFCs are as efficient as possible.
MFCs can bolster any business’ last-mile delivery segment to become more efficient. A variety of industries, such as hot food, on-demand groceries, and e-commerce are already utilising these centres, and can be applied to any sector wanting to get their products to customers efficiently and sustainably, all at an affordable cost.
But for MFCs to succeed they need a fleet of intelligent vehicles to partner and complement them, and an e-bike is the perfect vehicle to do so.